I grew up in Michigan and started riding mountain bikes in high school at the local state park. By college, I was known as a pretty good rider in Michigan, but when I moved to Tahoe with my hard tail Trek 7000, I was immediately shocked by the difficulty of the trails and endless climbs. 6+ years later, those same rides, while still challenging, are my daily rides on a full suspension cross-country bike. Last week, my friend Nils invited me to ride mountain bikes at Northstar Ski Resort, so I called my friend Allison who was out of commission (due to riding bikes at Northstar – ok, racing bikes) and borrowed all of her downhill gear. The huge bike and full pads gave me confidence to ride Northstar’s most difficult trails, however, I was pretty scared the whole time! Mountain biking is scary! The bike just seemed huge and my feet were not staying on the flat pedals. Yes… Mountain bike gaper!
We rode most of the day and I was suprisingly tired at the end of it all – my legs were even sore the next two days from keep active legs the entire time. A week later, I rode my regular XC bike on the Tyrolean Downhill in Incline Village after work and crushed it! I mean, I was flying, hitting jumps, and cruising through the turns! The downhill biking really paid off. Turns out Nils was right – a day on a downhill bike will really help your skills!
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